Design with /’empəTHē/

Different from many artists, rigidly defined ‘good’ and ‘evil’ dichotomies don’t really exist in Miyazaki’s films. What we have instead are entire casts of sympathetic, or, at least, empathetic characters, whether they be human, animal or supernatural. He shared a super power of seeing everything that is good in human life, community and civilization, and centers his stories on enjoying and maintaining those things. He portrays ideals of virtue, compassion, community, and self-reliance, and places a high future value based on the traditional.

It is also a fundamental cultural value that allows our designers to develop concepts, products, services, strategies, and systems that are both innovative and responsive to actual user needs and desires — Alison Black, 1998

In the context of design, empathic character lays in the designer. It is not just simply follow the design procedures of “Human centric Interaction”, but to feel the product, to feel the user and understand their way of problem solving through user research, then absorbing it into the thinking to guide decision-making processes. It is an ability for an UX designer to understand and identify with another person’s context, emotions, goals, and motivations before moving on building the product.

I believe at the initial stage of design process, as designers, we shouldn’t make assumptions of wether the feature is good or bad, we should imagine future from the old times and develop technologies through the traditional. Learn from the exciting solutions and define the right problem to develop new opportunities and build creatives based on a series of well analyzed research result.

A key development in realm of information technologies is that they are not only the object of moral deliberations but they are also beginning to be used as a tool in moral deliberation itself — John Sullins

Since artificial intelligence technologies and applications are a kind of automated problem solvers, and moral deliberations are a kind of problem, it was only a matter of time before automated moral reasoning technologies would emerge.

No matter it is a product or service, it would be more interesting and adding extra value to the final outcome if we could imagine the design itself shares emotions and is able to communicate with their user. I would love to treat my design solution with with respect and hope they come alive like the cat bus in My Neighbor Totoro, who could read understand all the passengers and take them anywhere they want. Although he looks evil like a monster from the beginning of the movie, but everybody love him in the end, which back to Miyazaki’s philosophy of ‘to see the good in that which is evil and the evil in that which is good. ’

The creation of a single world comes from a huge number of fragments and chaos — Miyazaki Hayao

Each new design should go through the war of prototyping, testing and redesign cycle to ensure the deign function and feature user-ability, and becoming meaningful product.